Religious Congregation


Holy Family Carmelite Monastery Sisters

Carmelites originated from Mount Carmel in Israel, around the year 1212 A.D. There are many aspects of Jesus’ life which different congregations imitate. Carmelites imitate Jesus who spent His time in prayer and shared His life with the disciples in a community.

Where are Contemplative Carmelites found?

Today, 12, 000 Carmelite sisters or nuns are living their consecrated lives of prayer. In Africa, they are found in Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria. They are also present in more than 500 monasteries (communities) in Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Our motto from the beginning has been from the words of the Prophet Elijah, ‘I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts’ (1 kings 19:14). From the beginning we chose the prophet Elijah as our model and Mary the mother of Jesus as our patroness and sister.

Welcome to the Holy Family Carmelite Monastery-Zomba, Malawi!  

We live a life of total dedication to Jesus, through the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, lived in a life of:

  • Close friendship with Jesus Christ
  • Continuous prayer for the church and the world
  • Sisterhood and community love in imitation of the community of Jesus and His disciples without distinction of race and tribe
  • According to our foundress, St. Teresa of Avila: ‘all must be loved, all must be held dear’. We stress living a life of joy and sharing.

Our Models in Carmelite history: Saints of Carmel

By the grace of God, our communities in history have produced many saints that inspire many people in the Catholic Church.

Saint Teresa of Avila-Spain was born in 1515 and died in 1582. St. Teresa of Avila is for us and the church, she is one of the greatest teachers of prayer and the spiritual life. The Catholic Church declared her Doctor of the Church. Through her books, she teaches us about Jesus, growth in prayer and practice of our love for one another.

Saint Therese of Lisieux-France was born in1873 and died in 1897. St. Therese of Lisieux, popularly known as ‘The Little Flower’, joined the Carmelite community of Lisieux monastery in France at a very young age. Through her faithful following of Christ, especially in her community life and suffering, she taught us about God as Father and how we need to abandon ourselves into His loving hands.

Requirements to join the Carmelites 

  • Be a committed, baptized and confirmed Catholic woman, aged no less than 18 years
  • Be in good health and ready to undergo a medical test
  • Be a Catholic woman who sincerely wants to follow Christ in a total, radical way, through the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience
  • Have at least passed the Malawi School Certificate of Education or its equivalent in Zambia and Mozambique. Those with a University or any other tertiary education qualification are welcome.
  • Be ready to live an enclosed and contemplative (continuous prayer) life. We don’t go out to teach, nurse or perform other apostolates.


Mother Prioress

Holy Family Discalced Carmelite Monastery

P.O. Box 115


Cell   : +265 881 103 785, +265 994 474 131